What’s good in the Razzhood?

Back again with another weekly roundup of all things relievers for you cool little kitty cats.

Don’t forget, the Razzball Bullpen Chart is manned by yours truly and updated like every single second (not really, but I stay on top of thangs for the most part).

Here’s what stood out to me this week (note: Monday’s games do not factor in):

Liam Hendriks is a closer of old. He goes out there just about every single time there’s a chance and he’s a fantasy godsend because of it. Dude cranked out 5 SV this past week, allowing no hits and just one walk while striking out 8. He started off rough, but he still has a real shot to end up as the #1 fantasy RP when it’s all said and done.

Joe Barlow is back to being the go-to man in Texas. I said as much last week, but it’s nice to see it stick. He’s the headline boi this week since he might even still be out there in your league (only owned in about half of Yahoo leagues and way less in ESPN). Barlow had 3 SV this week, striking out 4 in 3 IP. It’s interesting: his Statcast page is a mix of dark red (K%, BB, Whiff%, and Chase Rate) dark blue (everything else). Given he’s excelling in K% and BB% and has had a very strong season overall, I’m inclined to think those dark blues start to trend the other way as the season wears on. Don’t be dissuaded by some early hard hits with the kind of K:BB this guy’s rocking, and don’t forget that closers on bad teams are still gonna get you saves.

Daniel Bard also had 3 SV over the last week of action, keeping up his strong K and ratio numbers as well. Mr. Bard’s up to 1 W, 9 SV, 1.64 ERA, 0.64 WHIP and 14 K in 11 IP of work. He’s not the biggest whiff-getter out there, but the Ks are still in upper-tier territory, and he’s only walked a single batter to date. Who’da thunk he’d be #4 RP on our Player Rater at any point in 2022? Not I. Yet the Statcast bleeds red, his slider is unhittable, and his fastball is cooking at around 98 MPH on average at the ripe old age of 36.

Edwin Diaz is having one of the most dominant starts in recent memory and padded his stats a little more this week with 2 SV and 4 K. If you go hop on over to that there Statcast page, you’ll see six 100ths, one 99th, three 98ths, and one 95th percentile. Yeah, yeah, there’s a 26th percentile for BB%, but whatever. The man is the personification of “filth” right now. It’s very possible he’s the #1 fantasy RP instead! And what’s his secret this year? Well, it’s probably the fact he realized his slider is the freakin best, so now he throws it 52% of the time (compared to last year’s rate of 38%). So far, the slider has a .154 xwOBA against and has been whiffed on 58.3% of the time. Filth.

Giovanny Gallegos picked up a pair of saves, giving him 6 SV on the season. He’s gotten basically all of them, so I’m not terribly sure how much I believe Oli Marmol when he says Ryan Helsley is also an option in the 9th. I realized I pumped the hell out of Helsley’s tires last week, and I’m still gonna argue he’s must-own in all formats (1 W with 4 K in 1.2 perfect IP this week), but it’s becoming more clear that Gio is the favored option here.

Emilio Pagan annoyingly scored 2 SV and 1 HD this week. He’s kinda bad, though: allowed 2 H and 4 BB in 3 IP (but to be fair, he also had 5 K). I wish Jhoan Duran would just get the full-time gig, cuz he also had 2 SV and is clearly a lot better. Had 6 K in 3.2 IP, but did allow a pair of solo homers. Whatever, gimme Duran dammit! Should be Emilio Pa-gone, amirite?

David Bednar is so good. Mans had 60 K%, 0 BB%, and 27.8 SwStr% this past week, picking up 2 SV and 6 K in 3 IP. There are exactly two RP with 4+ SV and 20+ SwStr% this season: Bednar and Diaz. I really need the dude to get out of Pittsburgh, but I also really need him to at the very least stop sharing the gig with Stratton.

Ryan Pressly is finally back off the IL, but Rafael Montero did admirable work in his absence, snagging 2 SV and 1 HD in 3 scoreless IP. Dusty Baker seems to like him a good deal, so if Pressly starts to falter or has to miss time again, wouldn’t be a bad idea to keep a very close eye on Montero. I’m not, like, worried about Pressly at all yet, though; I just wanted to put it out there. Pressly had 1 W, 1 BS, but also 1 SV as well, if’n you were curious.

Great stuff from Emmanuel Clase this week: 2 SV, 4 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, and 4 K. Can’t ask for much better than that. He should be pretty good ROS. Pretty good indeed.

Jorge Lopez came back down to earth a little bit, picking up a BS and L this week (but also scoring a dub). He allowed 3 H and 1 BB in 3.2 IP of work, allowing two runs (but zero earned runs). Dillon Tate was able to secure a SV, but this is still the Lopez show as far as I’m concerned.

Anthony Bender is super frustrating. He’ll be awesome, and then he’ll suck. This week he sucked: 1 BS, 1 L, and uninspiring line of 2.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, and 1 HR. Silver lining was he had a hold and 4 K, so he wasn’t a total bum. Dylan Floro is due back very, very soon (activated Monday night) and will most likely get the majority of looks from here on out.

Rough times for Paul Sewald owners. He had an ugly 9.00 ERA and 1.33 WHIP this week, failing to secure either a save or hold. Did score a win, but you can suck it up and still luck into a win. We’re to the point I’m probably putting Andres Munoz at the top of this committee (17.4 K/9 this year) until Ken Giles is back.

Tanner Rainey has been mostly excellent in 2022, but the Nats are just so bad he has barely had any save opps. And then he gets a shot this week and implodes for a 16.20 ERA and 2.40 WHIP. Good news is that ghastly ERA was contrasted by a 1.26 FIP, and he was still able to rack up 3 K in just 1.2 IP. Don’t worry, Rainey owners; his job is safe for now, and more save chances will surely come along.

Mark Melancon returned from the COVID IL and pitched terribly, despite picking up 1 SV this week: 1 BS, 1 L, 27.00 ERA, and 6.00 WHIP. Probably has a pretty long leash after leading the league in saves last season. Ian Kennedy had 2 SV this week and didn’t allow a run, so maybe that leash isn’t the longest you’ll ever see.

In the SVHD realm, we had a few standouts this week. First up is Matt Foster, who bagged 4 HD and 5 K in 3.2 IP. Aaron Bummer has landed on the IL with a knee injury, so look for Foster to continue to accumulate holds in the near future. Jose Ruiz (2 HD this week) is another White Sock pen arm to look at for short-term SVHD. Kendall Graveman picked up 3 HD, as well.

Joe Smith tossed 2.2 perfect innings this week en route to 3 HD. Dude had 0 K, though, so he’s kinda boring. Oddly, he’s 94th percentile in Chase Rate but also only 16th percentile in K%. Gets hit hard and has almost zero K upside, so I would not be prioritizing this guy if I could help it. Instead, if I wanted a Twins setup guy I’d be looking at Tyler Duffey, who had 3 HD and 4 K in 3.2 perfect IP.

Ryan Brasier is a name to watch. The Red Sox bullpen is very underwhelming, with Diekman/Robles/Barnes all pretty much pooping their tighty-whities on a nightly basis. Okay, Robles is actually doing okay, and Diek has 15 K in 9.2 IP, but boy oh boy is he walking a lotta guys, while Barnes is just straight ass right now. I wouldn’t be terribly surprised to see Brasier, who had 2 HD and 4 K this week, become a primary setup man for Boston. Could he even maybe see some save chances?!

This Colin Poche guy keeps bagging holds for Tampa Bay, adding three more this week. That’s 6 HD now to go along with a 2.70 ERA and 0.75 WHIP. Sadly, that shiny ERA isn’t supported by either FIP (6.67) or SIERA (5.67), so odds are more than decent that he’ll regress. Very little strikeout upside, and the CSW% isn’t all that encouraging either.

I do some fantasy baseball as well as some fantasy hockey here at Razzball. Find me on Twitter: @jkj0787. DMs are always open for questions, comments, concerns, complaints, etc. Odds are good I’m drinking black coffee, dark beer, or some form of bourbon at any given time.